Advisory committee term ends; will wait for code of conduct period to end to seek extension of term
PANJIM: It will be the new State government that will have to decide on the Medium of Instruction (MoI) policy for elementary education, with the 17-member Advisory Committee on MoI deciding to wait for the election code of conduct to end so as to seek a further extension of its term and submit its report on the contentious issue.
The three-month extension granted to the committee headed by Higher Education Director Bhaskar Nayak ended on February 12 and the committee has failed to hold any meetings in South Goa. The 120-days granted to the Advisory committee in August had first ended on November 12, 2016.
“Yes, the three month extension to the term has ended and we have not yet prepared the report. We will require more time. Once the code of conduct ends, we will put up a proposal before the government for extension,” Nayak told Herald.
“Since the election code was imposed in January, we could not initiate any process to hold meetings. The entire process came to halt,” he added.
As the Election Commission of India enforced the model code of conduct from January 4, the 17-member committee deferred the meetings. The code of conduct ends on March 11 evening.
The committee had earlier planned its first meeting at Canacona on January 10 followed by two meetings in Salcete, and three meetings at Mormugao, Sanguem and Dharbandora. However, the meetings were cancelled and before fresh dates could be announced, the term of the committee ended.
It has already completed six meetings in North Goa in Sattari, Bicholim, Pernem, Bardez and Tiswadi. There was a poor response from the schools and parents teachers association (PTAs) but it saw a huge demand for primary education in the mother tongue – Konkani or Marathi. There were very few who supported continuation of grants to English medium schools. Another section demanded that the MoI choice be left to parents.
After the taluka meetings, the advisory committee had decided to hold separate meetings with pro-English group Forum for Rights of Children to Education (FORCE) and regional language supporter Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) for their views, suggestions and objections.